Pivot - Is it time for you to change directions?
Pivoting in business is scary.
Will my people follow me?
Will they “get it”?
I started fresh out of graduate school in private practice as a therapist, with less-than-stellar supervision and only the haziest idea of how to help people. I began to grow resentful of my degree which had focused mainly on required topics of diagnosis, research methods, ethics, and hurried descriptions of different theories.
I held a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and I sort of, kind of knew how to help people by quasi-listening. It took years of focused study POST-Master’s to learn how to actually help people, and a little more time to shift from resentment to understanding my degree program was a product of the broken system. Had I known better at the time, I would have chosen a more effective degree program in transpersonal psychology or spiritual psychology. The benefit is that it lit a fire in me to study relentlessly for the next several years and discover how to actually help people heal.
In the meantime, I reminded myself again and again of the one client I had seen weekly for nearly an entire year in my internship and after graduating. Steadily, session after session, she and I both showed up, as I supported her totally free of payment for 8 months after I had graduated.
It got to the point where I wondered if I was helping her, because she never expressed it. I trusted and believed it was helping, because she kept showing up. I wondered if she appreciated me showing up for her too, leaving my 2-year-old and infant at home, week after week. I planned to bring up the topic during our last session, but I didn’t have to.
Tears streaming down her face, her chest heaved with unanticipated emotion as she expressed her deep gratitude to me. She explained, “Every week I came to you with my mask prepared, right within arm’s reach. I came prepared to put on the mask I wear for everyone else to protect myself from judgement, the mask I wear to make me look powerful and in control. But I never had to put it on,” she said. “Every week I left here surprised at how much I carry inside of me, beneath my own awareness. I have changed so much, I’m such a different person now since I began seeing you.”
And that’s the core of what a counselor’s role is about. Trust, relationship, nonjudgmental support and unconditional positive regard. In spite of my “okay” training, I naturally have what it takes to partner in a healing relationship.
And in spite of this incredible experience, it was only ONE testimonial, and not enough to quell the intensity of my self-doubt. My internal struggles were numerous, and over the next few years I attacked each one with ferocity, determined to heal and overcome every one of my fears and flaws with the simultaneous benefit of gaining the knowledge of how to help my clients with the same issues.
Fast forward to today, and I feel called as I have for awhile to move from serving one-to-one to one-to-many in the online space. And my indecision has blocked me for years because this absolutely required narrowing down my audience in order to reach people with my marketing.
I’m creating my first online offering, a 30-day program to get grounded, take the pressure off, and deeply connect with your body’s inner wisdom.
To reach people to enroll in this program I’ve chosen the story of my own struggle as an entrepreneur, running myself ragged working 24/7 to try and make ends meet, spending all of my time and energy focused on learning how to make six figures and achieve my dream life, believing that the hustle would pay off and the price would be worth it.
Instead, I crashed and burned. In that crash-and-burn year I made $14,000 in revenue, something to be proud of, but certainly not enough to live off of.
And certainly not worth the price of neglecting precious time with my small children, and the stress of not being present adding the final nails in the coffin to my relationship, leaving me a single mom living on my friend’s couch because I can’t afford to rent my own place, and finally driving me to Get. A. Job. Oh yeah also my car totally died. No money, no home, no transportation. How was it that I was this broken, with a Master’s degree? Why couldn’t I have a successful private practice like other people I saw with similar education and background? I inquired deeply and got to the roots.
As painful as the story is, at the same time I flourished spiritually. As wave after wave crashed on me, I became stronger and stronger. I chose joy, presence and happiness daily as it was my CHOICE and I knew I was growing from this experience. I let nothing get in my way.
Even though I was scraping by with never more than $200 in my bank account, I made things happen. I found a credit card I had forgotten about and flew to a coaching immersion weekend in Los Angeles. I Couchsurfed to have a free place to stay and ended up swimming with dolphins in the Pacific right by the Santa Monica Pier.
I also continued to work my butt off for my clients and help them get results. I supported people through intense breakthroughs and periods of transition. I continued my studies by completing a life coaching training and finally becoming truly masterful in holding space. I received messages of gratitude out of the blue, from clients thanking me for how I had helped them and explaining they didn’t totally understand at the time but I had planted powerful seeds and they were now living their dream lives in another city.
And at the end of the year in one month I manifested:
a dream job as a therapist in a high school with a chill nonprofit agency that doesn’t micromanage me which would be too intensely triggering for my PTSD. Each day I feel like this job was specifically given to me by God as I encounter nothing but kindness from my supervisor in response to my many many mistakes (I am not built to do any sort of paperwork whatsoever) and the flexibility to handle my own schedule and not feel like someone is breathing down my neck (something I need to feel safe and like I still have freedom, my spirit is an entrepreneur)
a new apartment that I could afford, from someone I knew personally who signed a lease with me even though I had no savings for a deposit, horrific credit from running my business on credit cards for 2 years, and two small children which would normally exclude me from being accepted for a beautiful tranquil one-bedroom apartment building (thank you for understanding neighbors!)
a new car, my first time purchasing from a dealership, and they let me buy the car with no money just a letter of employment from my job when I hadn’t even been paid yet. Thanks mom for co-signing!
I THEN spent the next 8 months getting grounded. Taking the pressure off. Doing nothing. Focusing on myself and whatever I needed to do to heal and to be nurturing and present with my children.
And that brings me to the point of all of this - this is the story I have chosen to focus on with my branding and marketing. If you’ve been working with me and following me thusfar, depending on when you’ve come on board you’ve seen different variations of my marketing angles. I hope you will continue along, even if you’re not an entrepreneur, as I promote this new program to help save entrepreneurs from the intense pain I went through, inviting them to take 30 days with me to pause, get grounded, and get into alignment with their heart’s direction instead of the mind’s crazy grasping.
My deepest WHY is to minister to people who are hurting, because hurt people hurt people. My purpose is to prevent violence, child neglect, and at the deepest roots, neglect of Self. Your connection to your Self and ability to be there for yourself unconditionally is the necessary foundation to achieve your dreams and your purpose.
I hope you will continue to follow along in my journey, and find the parallels in your own life, even if you’re not an entrepreneur :)